Handmade Copper Whiskey
Ever wonder how whiskey is made?
Or maybe you already know all about it, and you just need the right equipment.
Either way, you’ve come to the right place.
We’re going to give you a brief overview of the Whiskey distilling process, and also introduce you to a beautiful copper still that can help you get started.
Handmade Homemade Copper Whiskey Still
Distilling your own Whiskey at home is a real joy, and there are many benefits to this rewarding hobby. First of all, you’ll have complete control over how your Whiskey will taste.
Granted, you’ll need to practice a little before you know how to fine-tune your whiskey, but our point still stands.
You can customize your whiskey to your exact tastes.
You’ll also save a lot of money in the long run by distilling your own Whiskey at home. Once you’ve purchased the proper equipment, it’ll cost you very little to distill and create an endless supply.
Compared to buying your whiskey from the liquor store, distilling it at home is a real money-saver.
And of course, it’s also a very enjoyable hobby. You might get a deep sense of fulfillment out of the overall process. This hobby requires patience, care, and a lot of hard work.
But when you taste whiskey that you’ve successfully distilled yourself, it’s all worth it in the end.
How Whiskey Distillation Works
So how do you create your own whiskey? How does distillation work?
While there’s a fair bit of science behind this process, it’s actually quite simple when you boil it all down (pun intended).
If you understand how distillation, you would understand that joke. You see, simple whiskey distillation occurs when you boil fermented liquid and separate the alcohol from the water.
Since ethanol boils at a lower temperature than water, you can use a still to vaporize that ethanol and then re-condense it back into water using a collection device.
With a simple whiskey still, you can do all of this “complicated” science, and taste your own homemade whiskey within just a few hours.
And on that note, let’s introduce one of the best whiskey stills on the market right now: a 5 gallon handmade copper whiskey still.
5 Gallon Copper Whiskey Still
This whiskey still has many interesting features, and it should be a great choice for newbies and experienced distillers.
This copper still was handcrafted by master coppersmiths, and it also works well as a simple decoration.
You can use the 5-gallon buckets for great fermentation runs. Once you get the still running, your run should last about 1 to 2 hours.
After the process is complete, you should have 1 to 2 gallons of whiskey. That should definitely last you a while, and it’ll save you a few trips to the liquor store.
If you’re new to the world home distilling, it’s very important to work with 100% copper in this process. Working with other materials can be unsafe, and that’s definitely a concern when you’re working with ethanol and other volatile substances.
This whiskey still is made from 100% alembic copper, which ensures you’re always on the safe side. It also ensures that no chemicals leach into the whiskey, as copper is an effective heat conductor.
The still is also soldered with lead-free, brass wire welds. This is a true mark of quality.
This whiskey still comes with its own thermometer, which is an important tool in the world of distilling.
There’s also a head with a traditional swan neck – the same time-honored shape that has been used to distill whiskey and other spirits for thousands of years.
The condenser features a handy nozzle at the top and an outlet for collecting whiskey at the bottom. With long coil lengths inside the condenser, your ethanol vapors are quickly cooled into liquid whiskey.
The copper pot features two sturdy handles for easy transport – a simple but very handy addition.
It’s worth pointing out that you can use this whiskey still to produce a wide range of different spirits. This includes moonshine, cognac, rum, bourbon, tequila, vodka, and many others.
If you feel like experimenting and trying other spirits, you can do so.
Just remember to clean your whiskey still after each use, and make sure to search for any design flaws in the design.
Some customers have noted that stills are sometimes shipped with welding issues, and you might have to do some of your own welding to ensure that everything is as it should be.
How to Distill Whiskey at Home
It is much easier than you would think, but you need to know a few things first before you start to make whiskey from home. The first thing you need to do is choose the right distillation equipment. You want to use copper because it will help with the quality of your whiskey or moonshine on more of a molecular level that any other type of metal just will not be able to match. Sulfur and sulfides are part of the fermentation process that is unavoidable, these can carry into your product and actually end up making your whiskey or your moonshine quite painful.
Not only will you have a bad taste, but the hangover can end up becoming quite brutal. That is why copper is the ideal type of metal you want to use because it has special chemistry that will convert and bind all of your product and turn it into much higher quality.
Things to keep in mind about still design
You also need to take into consideration the right distillation unit with curves. There are a few different types to choose from, but the potbelly and onion head seem to be fan favorites because you can easily manipulate the surface area of your still which will then increase the purity and the flavor of your product. It also makes everything faster and more efficient, therefore curves are the way to go. You will never find straight lines at any high-quality top-shelf scotch distillery. Curves are the only way to go when it comes to creating your own high-quality product.
The onion head top is going to capture vapor and then it will be routed to the condenser. This type of top is tall enough to increase purity but it also is short enough to maintain the high-quality flavor. This top also has a built-in thermometer which helps maintain the right temperature. This is a really user-friendly type of whiskey distiller that will produce some amazing whiskey or moonshine – it depends on what you are making.
The potbelly boiler is what you will normally find in a high quality blurry. Sure, anybody can make whiskey with straight lines, but if you are trying to exceed your expectations, then curves are the only way to go. Will be able to control the distilling process by using this potbelly boiler that is personally handcrafted. All of the vapors are sent to the top of this unit for next stage refinement.
The basic ingredients and process for your whiskey
If you are getting ready to make whiskey from home, then you need to know that it is a grain-based spirit. Therefore, you can start off with corn or wheat, but you also can include barley. If you are into multi-grain, then you can always create a mixed blend. Keep in mind, that corn is the least expensive grain to purchase if you plan on buying in bulk. You will need to purchase at least 10 pounds of corn to expect a reasonable amount of product.
The next part of the process is going to be cooking the corn at an extremely high temperature because you are looking to extract the sugars in the grain. Normally, distillers will be able to do this process for you, so there is an actual distiller kit that you can use which will make things easier. After you have completed this process, you will take a look at your corn mush. The fermentation process will take several days, but you have to realize that your pre-whiskey mush is going to begin changing and starting the pre-whiskey phase.
In the beginning, your corn is going to become sweet oatmeal, but that is the first sign that the sugar is converting into alcohol. You should monitor the temperature and you also want to constantly check on your product. Normally, the fermentation process is not going to take more than a week.
The next part is putting the mash into a still. This part is important because you need to make sure that none of the alcoholic vapor leaks out of the still. You want to double-check to make sure that your still is properly secure and that your mash (mushed corn) is piping hot at 80°C. That is the temperature were alcohol will start to evaporate. You will then need to shock the vapor into liquid form, this is where your distiller will begin to refine your product with the help of a condenser.
You should have cold water constantly running around it and before you know it – new liquid is formed that can be poured into a new container. That is officially your new liquor
This process can take time to learn and you may end up having to do it a few times over, but the end result can be a wonderful whiskey that you will be able to share with your friends and family. You need to take your time, and you also may need to experience different recipes or try out different types of distilling machines, but the main thing you need to focus on is safety and following all of the instructions. If you plan on making several huge batches, you also might want to think about barrel aging.
You can go online and find different types of barrels and even sizing. You want to find a nice quality whiskey barrel that your product will be able to age inside of. You might even purchase some special whiskey barrel glasses for when it is time to break open the whiskey barrel and try all of your homemade liquor. Enjoy drinking your new homemade liquor, but don’t forget to invite friends over to try out all of your hard work.
Things To Keep In Mind
Keep in mind that according to US law, these stills are technically intended for decoration, the distillation of water, and the creation of essential oils.
Because legally, individuals are not permitted to use these stills to create their own spirits at home – at least not without a proper license.
Yes, that’s right… You can buy these whiskey stills but you can’t actually use them in Canada or the United States. A permit is necessary, and it’s quite an odd loophole.
There are also many concerns that you need to keep in mind when operating your still.
One of the most important factors is your heat source.
We recommend that you use either a hot plate or an electric stove when operating your still inside.
If you’re going outside, you can also use a propane burner.
Natural gas stoves probably aren’t the best choice if you’re working inside.
You also need to keep an eye on the quality of your copper still. Over time, the surface might oxidize. This might cause the still to turn a dark red color. This won’t impact the still’s functionality, but you still might want to polish the surface or clean the interior with special solutions.
Speaking of cleaning your still, you should do so every few weeks.
Remember, you’re aiming for purity here. Even small specks of dirt and particles can impact the quality of your whiskey in a big way.
If you’re ready to try home distillation for yourself, we heartily recommend this handmade copper whiskey still!